Advertisement:

Cubs Notes, GM Meetings edition: Samardzija, Tanaka, Mueller, Schierholtz, Saltalamacchia

Cubs Notes, GM Meetings edition: Samardzija, Tanaka, Mueller, Schierholtz, Saltalamacchia
Theo and Jed more likely have their eye on how prospects approach their ABs more than actual results. So far, so good.

We'll follow the GM meetings and as always, we'll continue to update as more information is made available.  The feeling among some insiders is that this offseason will be one of the most trade heavy offseasons in recent memory.  The cost of free agents seems to be going through the roof and, in many cases, it's going to cost teams a draft pick.  That may be enough of a deterrent to force teams to become a bit more creative as far as making additions to their teams.

  • Jesse Rogers has some good stuff at ESPN Chicago.  Hoyer acknowledged that he expects teams to call about Jeff Samardzija, “Teams know we’ve had discussions with him and we haven’t signed him,” Hoyer said Monday. “That’s part of it. I think teams will certainly inquire about him,” Hoyer said. “He’s really proved over the last two years he has great stuff and is a tough competitor. I think teams will ask us about him so to that extent there could be rumors. I think Jeff has a perfect mentality for that. I think he doesn’t pay attention to it. It’s somewhat the nature of being in a big market.” 
  • The Cubs are looking for veteran leadership.   Hoyer said, "“We know we need more player leadership,” Hoyer said. “I think it’s unfair to put all the leadership aspects on the manager and the coaching staff. We’ve traded a lot of those guys away. We know that and so I do think we need to replenish that.” 
  • Patrick Mooney confirms that the Cubs indeed will be in on Masahiro Tanaka but he considers that possibility a long shot -- if for no other reason that the stakes are high and there will be some win-now, big spending teams involved in the chase.
  • Rogers also mentions that the Cubs will announce their coaching staff soon and probably all at once.  One guy we can expect not to be part of the staff at this point is Mariano Duncan.  At the On Deck 14 presentation, Epstein emphasized how some coaches work better with 18-19 year olds while others work better with MLB players.  It's a different skill set.  Hoyer added to that by saying that the hitting coach will come from outside the organization.  One name being brought up is Bill Mueller, an ex-Cubs and Red Sox player who once won a batting title.  Mueller had a very good approach at the plate.
  • The Tribune article also mentions minor league instructors Gary Jones (Padres) and Bruce Fields (Tigers) are candidates to become base coaches.  Interesting that both candidates have experience teaching minor league players.
  • The Diamondbacks are known to be interested in Jeff Samardzija and they are looking at power hitting outfielders as well.  Nick Piecoro mentions the D'Backs may also be interested in Nate Schierholtz.
  • In other news around the league with possible Cubs ramifications, the Twins have shown interest in catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Mets are interested in Chris Young, and the Yankees have put Shin-Soo Choo at the top of their outfielder list.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments

Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    Have the discussions for Samardzjia with the Nationals intensified at all or is this something that may pick up steam at next month's meetings?

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I don't believe they have really started. But there is interest.

  • We should trade Jeff and Nate to AZ as a package deal for
    the best of their pitching prospects we can get. Not only pitchers

  • So the Yankees are trying to get under the luxury tax but are looking to sign Choo and Tanaka? Seems impossible.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ike03:

    They praying arod gets fired/suspended from MLB

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Tanaka won't be a huge burden as far as getting the team salary under the luxury tax since so much of the money that a team will spend to acquire him will be the posting fee. Plus, the Yankees have a LOT of room to get to 189 million.

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    very accurate and astute KS!

  • In reply to Ike03:

    And don't forget Cano. That could be in the range of 8 years and $25-30MM per year.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Only if they are stupid enough to bid against themselves like they did with ARod. I would like to think they learned their lesson.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I think the Yankees, without A-Rod, are $52.1M under the $189M threshold. That's a lot of cabbage even if they resign Cano. If they sign Cano and get Tanaka I would expect that the guy highest on their radar would be Nate Schierholtz. If they do not get Tanaka, they will have to find a SP somewhere. Maybe Price or Scherzer for a package that is centered on Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams.

  • I like Mooney and he is usually spot on with his reporting. Did he indicate that he was told by insiders that it was a long shot to sign Tanaka or is just speculating (like the rest of us)? I'm curious what this FO's confidence level is winning the rights for him...

  • saltalamacchia is awful...please stop with . If boy wonder trades Castillo just to add a LH bat he should be launched immediately. Lets trade our best position player last yr for some crap pitcher and replace him with a guy his own team doesnt want, wouldnt play in the WS, and is absolutely HORRIBLE defensively. Last yr Welly Rdrs/yr was 24 runs JS was -7 and -22 two yrs ago

  • In reply to ChiTownD:

    It didn't say anything about the Cubs going after Salty in the article...

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    "In other news around the league with possible Cubs ramifications, the Twins have shown interest in catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, " last paragraph of the article. I realize John is giving us the inside scoop, but it seems people are pushing this guy. He was David Ross' cheerleader in the World Series. Post All Star break every other at bat Castillo had a 2-0 3-1 count and was driving the ball, to all fields.

  • In reply to ChiTownD:

    The ramifications could be Castillo's trade value with another team in the market for a starting catcher.

  • In reply to ChiTownD:

    Are you saying that you don't want a Salty Beef combo as our catching platoon? Because that's exactly what I want.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to baseballet:

    I wouldn't. It gives the much better defender the short side of a platoon (Castillo hit righties better than he did lefties in 2013, btw). And, Saltalamacchia was not even as good, offensively, as Castillo post AS break last season.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    As has been previously discussed here, it isn't a Salty/beef combo (I'm hungry now).

    The thoughts here have been package Beef for something and sign Salty to be the primary catcher.

    I for one want nothing to do with Salty. I understand you need some LH hitting to help Rizzo, but Salty's D is poor and he has had one nice year and that is it.

  • Per Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog, the Cubs are showing interest in Granderson.

  • fb_avatar

    This timeline looks awkardly funny:

    1:19 pm: Granderson’s priority is to sign with a winning team this winter (Rosenthal).

    Meanwhile - two hours later:

    3:10 pm: The White Sox, Cubs, Mets and Astros are among teams showing early interest in Granderson, who will now likely require a four-year deal (Cerrone)

    Lowered his expectations pretty quickly I see.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Just because they are showing interest in him doesn't mean he is showing any back. I don't see anything from that that shows he lowered his expectations.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to d evans:

    It's an insinuation and a joke dude. The insinuation being he would have to choose from one of those four and the joke being a four year deal which would probably take his contract up to the time that any of the teams mentioned are capable of bring a consistent winner. Don't read everything so seriously. I just said the timeline made it look awkwardly funny.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I get it now... lmao!

  • fb_avatar

    No harm in kicking the tires but I don't see a long term deal. Weren't his power numbers inflated by Yankee Stadium and it's short porch in RF? Not to mention he strikes out quite a bit and has dealt with some injuries.

    Would look good on a low year-high And contract though.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Here is a great analysis heavy article about Granderson (as well as David Murphy, Chris Young, and Rajai Davis). I like him less than all of the other three regardless of pricetag.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com/2013/11/fa-of-analysis-david-murphy-curtis.html

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I like Grander son bececause of what he can do in the Clubhouse.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Definitely true, and if he were a straight up free agent I wouldn't be opposed at all because I think veteran leadership and mentoring are extremely underrated, but being tied to compensation isn't worth it in my eyes. I would rather get a Michael Young, Jose Molina, or Corey Hart type just because of that. I know they're poor man's versions, but if I'm going to give up a draft pick I want top flight production to go along with the great leadership. If we were to sign him on a three year deal I wouldn't be upset though. But I think it's going to take four, and I think the production won't be worth it.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Here is how I look at it and everyone knows I am a draft guy. The Cubs' prospects are almost ready and they need a true professional to teach them want it means to be a Major Leaguer. The Cubs are missing that right now. The Yankee organization is very good at that. Granderson fits other things they need also, like a LH OF bat that can get on base. Is his talent worth the Draft pick no but the whole package might be.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    He would be a great mentor for Junior Lake.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    My concern about Granderson, Kevin, is that his K rate has shot up the last few years, and at his age, that's probably a sign that he has lost some reaction time. When guys lose that, it doesn't come back--it's the beginning of the end. And if Granderson's skills erode much more, he's not going to have a whole lot of value.

    The Cubs do need an OFer who can provide some offense, but Granderson on a multi-year deal looks to me like it has bust written all over it. If that's their big signing this year--on the heels of Edwin Jackson last year--it could be problematic.

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    Agreed, check out the analysis article I posted in this conversation above. Really stat heavy and informative.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Henderson might give the Cubs a hometown discount as well.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Granderson

  • In reply to KGallo:

    He is a good clubhouse guy and it seems the front office needs some leadership or a person who can rally the troops. I don't see that coming from any of the Core guys. Do we lack that 6th tool in a farm system, a guy like Pedoria who is the captain of the team?

    Rizzo, Castro, and Welly really don't bring that grit and energy. Hopefully, one of the big 4 can step in and bring some energy.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I suspect the conversation went a little like this: "Hey, would Curtis be interested in signing a 3-year contract with no NTC for the league minimum? No? Okay, thanks anyway."

  • Bill Mueller would be a fantastic choice. Great approach.

    I've been thinking lately about Schierholtz getting moved. Where would you put his value if he were traded alone? I'm on board with that if they can get nice player in return. Not saying I don't like Nate but I think there's a pretty good chance that he just had pretty much the best season he's capable of having. He could certainly prove me wrong.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I think he had more value at the deadline last year when people are slightly more desperate. I think he proved himself a platoon player with good pop off of RHP, but not an everyday player

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ben20:

    I agree with in both points

  • In reply to Ben20:

    not much value, will receive 4-5M in arbitration which is probably close to market value for last years production and he will be a free agent after 14. That said, if a team like Arizona (who doesn't have any outfielders who hit for power) is interested, there could be a larger market for his services in the winter. I would love to package him with Smardzija and another piece(s) and try to pry Delgado and Skaggs from Arizona.

  • Cubs are sandbagging it.

    They will be in the thick of it for Tanaka.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Shhhhhh...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I don't think the Cubs like the wear and tear on his arm. They will bid accordingly. I don't think they are sandbagging it when they've said they've scouted him, have done their due diligence and will post a bid. This is a transparent administration. I expect they would rather the bids be lower than higher.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I believe their was concern about the miles on Darvish's arm too, but it didn't stop them from bidding.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    he's only gone over 200 innings twice in his career and not consecutively. I know NPB pitchers rack up some pretty insane pitch counts during those innings but I have little doubt that we'd be involved extensively in physicals and scans before anyone is signed (if not before posting).

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    1300 + innings is a lot of mileage for a 25-year old. Here is the most extensive scouting report I've seen on Tanaka : http://irfast.blogspot.com/2013/08/masahiro-tanaka-scouting-report.html

    I say buyer beware. I'd love to see him on the Cubs, but I'm concerned about his durability going forward. Mitchner is right, Darvish has done alright. But what about Matzusaska?

    My only point is the Cubs are going to bid appropriately, as will other teams. I don't think they're sandbagging anybody, and I don't think they're going to post what others seem to think is a forgone conclusion: a posting fee that far outpaces everybody else.

    I'll say it again, I believe a bid in the neighborhood of $65-68M wins the negotiating rights. I think the Cubs will be within that range.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Yeah, he's for sure not a low mileage guy. But even for very high mileage, he's still very young, and mileage or no you just don't find FA's that far from 30.

    If we get him, I hope they out him on a stringent pitch count for the first couple years, especially since the likelihood is small that those years will be competitive for the team. It'd be nice to give his arm some time "off" (relatively speaking) after Japan's different pace.

  • I really liked Mueller as a player. Hated when we got rid of him. But having a good approach as a hitter doesn't mean he would make a good coach. Obviously Theo and Jed know the guy and would have a good idea of what he would bring, but he has never been a coach of any kind, let alone a MLB hitting coach. Seems like an off the wall choice given that they brought up experience as being important for the manager.

    And as far as I know he isn't bilingual either. Are Jones and/or Fields bilingual? I thought the goal was to have 3 bilingual coaches on the staff. We already have one in Bosio who isn't. Seems like something isn't adding up here if these really are the frontrunners.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    They're not going to let a preset number they threw out as a goal prevent them from getting the best possible candidates. It's just something that would be a plus if they managed it without getting inferior coaches.

    As far as Mueller being the best possible candidate, I have no comment, because that is something only baseball insiders really know much about, no matter how much we speculate.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Obviously they wouldn't pass up a better candidate in that event, but I would like to think they wouldn't state a goal like that unless they saw a way to achieve it or at least come close. They had to know who the potential candidates were. They weren't even sure to get a bilingual manager at the time, half the guys they interviewed weren't bilingual. And I seem to recall them stating that if the Manager wasn't bilingual the bench coach would be. If they had a separate list of coaching staff candidates they would have looked at depending on who they hired as manager, that isn't necessarily getting the best possible candidates regardless of situation. Seems like a silly thing to put out there if it wasn't something they planned to follow through with.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    This article says he was a hitting coach for the Dodgers...
    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but is "Saltalamacchia" pronounced "Saltine-ass-mother-fucker?"

  • Congratulations to former (and maybe future?) Cub Terry Francona.

  • fb_avatar

    Former Cub Marlon Byrd sins a 2 year deal with the Phillies.

    Pardon me for a moment........
    Last year Delmon Young and now Marlon Byrd...... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahaha HA

    OK, we can continue our discussion now.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    Phillies going to extremes to demonstrate what's wrong with using FA's to improve.

    Keep it up, Philly.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    Agreed, agreed, agreed. Doesn't anyone in their front office think it's a little peculiar that he gets busted for PED's, then has a career season at age 35?

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    He's most likely had to test once a week for the last 18 months so I don't think they're worried about him being clean or not in 2013. No chance he used last year. He used for recovery anyway and not performance. Nowadays since they test all the time, its usually guys getting busted for sneaking something in to recover from something instead of trying to beef up (as if that helped). They should have a distinction between Performance Enhancing Drugs and Recovery Enhancing Drugs in my opinion. Two entirely separate animals.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I wouldn't be surprised if he was still using. There are masking agents to cover PED's which are far ahead of the curve. Blood doping, HGH are all things MLB doesn't test for that he could get around.

    He was dumb to get caught the first time. I'd bet he's more careful this time around.

  • In reply to d evans:

    Unfortunately PED usage/detection can become a game of cat and mouse and the mouse always gets first move advantage. That said, I think in tying PED usage to anyone, we should exercise the greatest discretion before accusations are made.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    love what the guy on clubhouse confidential said.. "Byrd goes to an old and below average team and he makes them older and a lil less below average. lmao

  • fb_avatar

    If we can somehow start the season WITH Archie Bradley or Lucas Gioloto in the organization, I'll be really really excited for 2015.

    Who am I kidding?
    I'll be excited for 2015, regardless.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    I have my fingers crossed for Lucas Giolito. The Nationals have been known to trade prospects for pitching. And Theo is one competent trader from what I have seen.

  • As anyone else look at the pitching for next off season? Wow.

  • Yes sir, stacked as can be. Even if you assume 3 or so resign before they hit the market, it's still absolutely loaded.

    Brett Anderson
    Homer Bailey
    Cueto
    Gallardo
    Kershaw
    Masterson
    Scherzer

    And that's not even close to all, those are only the ones 30 or under

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    It may not be a popular thought, but I hope 14 is a bad season because the pitching available after this year is obviously worth losing a draft pick to acquire.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I'm not hoping for a repeat of last season, but what I don't want to be is ten games under .500, which leaves you nowhere near the playoffs and without a protected pick.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    well, to be fair, we were only 5 games away from 10 games under .500 this year.

    There isn't really a gray area where you're better than awful but less than mediocre.

    I mean, all they teams with unprotected picks are within FIVE games of .500

    Best case scenario is first half goes badly and we ship out Barney, Shierholtz, etc as we make room for Baez, Bryant, Soler etc. Hopefully they show promise but also have enough growing pains to net a top-10 pick.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    It would be better if the Cubs show improvement. Another season like the last two may make free agents leery of coming here.

  • Oh no, if we don't move fast the Twins are going to snatch away A.J. Pierzynski from us.

    I actually want to see him in a Cubs uniform. That would be Entertainment!

  • Put me in the camp that wants nothing to do with Salty.

  • In reply to GAHillbilly:

    I wouldn't mind keeping Navarro on the team. He complemented Castillo well.

  • In reply to John57:

    I agree. They should pay to keep Navarro. It seemed like he was the team's leader after Soriano left. It also seemed like the team had a better record when he played, but I can't find the stats on that.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    While we would all like Navarro back, but he played well enough this year to be given an opportunity to start for a team (and a matching contract). Since that ship has sailed, I would love to see the Cubs pursue Jose Molina (39 years old, used to getting 200 at bats per year, being paid in the $2M range, and one of the best catchers at positively effecting his pitchers ERA). He could be a great influence for Castillo for one or at most two years.

  • In reply to Greg Menke:

    Molina would be an excellent sign - if they can get him at that price. I wonder about the ability of Buck as well.

    Solid clubhouse guy by all accounts I have heard. Decent defensive stats. Is aging a bit so might relish the idea of getting a gig in Wrigley where his power potential makes him somewhat more valuable. One the downside of 33 - he's also a FA I believe.

    Anybody seen him play much of late? I used to catch him once in a while several years ago when he was playing for Kansas City.

  • fb_avatar

    I think Salty is a bat. He can play 3rd, catch and his splits scream platoon player. In no way shape or form would it mean Castillo is gone. That said the FO is very in tune w market inefficiencies and might think they can rape someone.
    I keep thinking a huge deal w the tigers could go down. Castro , Castillo for caste llanos, porcello and mote

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Dale Miller:

    With all due respect, I would absolutely hate that trade.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Eric Foster:

    seconded. That sounds just... awful.

    A SS and a very good C for a failed 3B prospect turned unproven OF prospect and an unspectacular #3 pitcher. No way.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    I wouldn't say Castellanos is a failure. He's still Detroit's #1 prospect and though it's a weak system beyond the top 3 or 4 for as far as potential MLB starters, it doesn't diminish his skills. He would have more value had he stuck at third but Cabrera isn't going anywhere.

    All that being said, that would still be an overpay by the Cubs just in terms of control years and positional advantage they'd give up. Then you'd have to assume Bryant or Castellanos can play 3B because Baez would be your SS and one of the two would be your RF. Finally, you need a better return pitching wise than Porcello, who the Cubs could probably get for a lot less than Castro.

    Besides, Detroit doesn't been need a starting catcher.

    Build up the middle, right? If I trade Castro, I want a lot more. If I include Wellington Castillo, I would need a team better than the Tigers to match up and probably only St. Louis fits the criteria as far as what the a Cubs would want in return for two young players with favorable contracts.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    I only meant failure at 3B. I added "turned unproven OF prospect" to hopefully clear it up but I think I failed. :p

    I still think Castellanos can hit and play average-ish defense in the OF, but he certainly doesn't make it worth trading proven players at premium positions.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Dale Miller:

    Saltalamacchia has NEVER played third in the majors, and only once in the minors, way back in 2003. He had one total chance, an assist. I'd assume if he could play it, he would have by now.

    And I'd want no part of Porcello, who averages 10HR/9innings and has NEVER had a season in which he's given up fewer hits than innings.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Dale Miller:

    Tigers would jump all over that trade.

    Although I believe they would do it to flip Castro to someone else to get a better pitcher then they gave up in Porcello.

    I am not sure how many of you watch the jr circuit but that kid Inglesias is a real player. GG calibur glove w offense thats improving at a much more rapid pace then almost all scouts thought

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    Never like to trade an everyday player for pitcher. Even when we got Sutcliffe, we had to give up Joe Carter...who became a stud for Cleveland for years. We got a tremendous year out of Sutcliffe, but no World Series and no all star left fielder for the future.

  • fb_avatar

    I read on Twitter where Oakland is making Jed Lowrie available to promote Addison Russell. Isn't Baez further along in his development than Russell? I find it slightly odd that Russell would make the bigs ahead of Javy. Am I wrong here?

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I think it's just a matter of scant SS options who don't require a massive payout (Castro, Tulo) and Oakland seeing a possibility of getting an overpay on someone in their last arbitration year, meaning this will be his last year with them regardless.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Context is important, too.

    The A's were 1 game away from the best record in baseball this year and they're a complete team.

    Addison Russell is expected to be a very good defensive shortstop right now. The team hits plenty well already.

    Not to mention Russell had a better OBP and OPS in A+ ball than Javy did in his A+ experience.

    Actually, I honestly don't think Javy is further in his development than Russell, I think he is just explosive and fun to watch.

    Russel is far superior defensively and has a much better approach. He just doesn't have the ceiling with the bat that Baez does. But if he works out defensively, he doesn't need to.

    Of course, looking even deeper into context is what's already been pointed out that Lowrie is in his last year of arbitration and Oakland can't afford to re-sign him and even more importantly, they cannot afford to not get prospects in return for him.

    Billy Beane is a magician at keeping the system flush with minor league players to replace the outgoing players they cannot afford. Lowrie is coming off an excellent year and is still under 30, his value may never be higher.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Agreed on all accounts. Also worth pointing out is that Russell is a bit ahead as far as level as well. He had 400+ ABs in AA this year and played the very end of the season in AAA, while Javy had only 300 ABs in AA and ended the season there. The difference is slight, but they are on a bit different paths. And as you stated, Russell's approach may let him move quicker even if his ceiling is less.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    well, actually Russell played at A+ then skipped to AA to try to help the AAA team during the playoffs, but Even with Javy playing the higher level, I believe Russell has a pretty defined edge in maturity, approach, and defense.

    I'm sure Oakland would like to let him develop more slowly but with their budget it's just not a luxury they can afford. Especially since they've won their division two years in a row.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I see that now, saw he finished in AAA and assumed he was in AA before that.

  • fb_avatar

    Is anyone interested in Kurt Suzuki as our number two catcher?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Ogulnick:

    Why not but ideally the FO is looking for a catcher who could hit from the left side.

    I think if they are just playing around on grabbing Tanaka, then they should pay Navarro the money he wants and get him some more ABs at 1st base since hes a switch hitter esp against tough lefties.

    Like many above posted, this team needs some real leaders, of course in an ideal world, we would have coaches who have been successful at every level and a couple vets like that too.

    I would love these kids to learn how to play the right way hence it would speed up there development.

    Josh Beckett was a young phenom, but I have to believe old man Jack McKeons experience and Pudges wisdom sure helped aid his development.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    No infielder wants to throw to a 5'8" first baseman, especially one built like CeeLo Green. That said, I'd still love to see him resigned. I think he did a great job last year and seems to be well like by his teammates

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    The CeeLo Green reference is pure comic genius! lmao

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Ogulnick:

    He'd be a better fit on the south side where Gene Honda is the PA announcer.

  • Can anyone else imagine what Harry would have done with the title of this article ?

  • In reply to SouthBender:

    haha. love it!

  • Diamondbacks offer Archie Bradley & David Holmberg for Shark

    Nationals offer Lucas Giolito & A.J. Cole for Shark

    Which one do the Cub's take? Which one should they take?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    The first one, but essentially zero chance Bradley is offered.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    But what if the cubs sweeten the pot w a gold glove defensive wizard by the name of Barney, Darwin? If it gets us Bradley, We can even take Aaron Hill of there hands so they have to find a slot of Barney to shine !

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Barney is not a pot sweetener. He's coming off a sub-replacement level year.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Golden glove...sometimes a team looks for defense.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    WAR accounts for defense.

    It doesn't matter how good your defense is, you can't put up a 569 OPS and play major league ball.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Darwin Barney should not even be offered a contract. He has zero trade value given what his salary will be this season.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Don't they have Aaron Hill anyway? And if they were worried about defense at 2B without regard for offense, they could move one of Greagarious or Owings over from SS. Hell, don't they still have Pennington around too?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Seems like we're giving up too much...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I suspect they would take both of them, but I think the other two GM's would probably have a little problem w the deal

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Archie Bradley

  • I wouldn't mind a Giolito, Solis package for Shark

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    *starting* package, not just that two for one

  • fb_avatar

    Who can help me with this? I hate the phrase "he passes the eye test." -- What the hell is that? Why do people say it?

    Hunter Dozier (Kansas City) is the latest "helium prospect" to pass the eye test. I think he's the real deal, though a little old for a Pioneer league prospect.

    To wit: "Indeed, Dozier does pass the eye test with his strapping, square-jawed, outside-linebacker build of 6 feet 4, 225 pounds." -- Jon Morosi

    I mean, if we are talking about the physical stature of a prospect who gives a crap? I mean, most athletes (I said most before you feed me Dan Vogelbach and Kevin Youkilis comps) who aren't bowlers or sumo wrestlers should pass the eye test, right? I mean, they are ATHLETES. They're supposed to be athletic.

    Every time I read that phrase it's like nails on a chalk board, and I NEVER heard that phrase used before the release of the movie 'Moneyball.'

    What is the point? I mean jeez, where do I sign up for the Branch Rickey School of Scouting? I could have the easiest job in the world.

    Uh, Mr. Epstein - here is my scouting report on Prospect B. Yup - he's definitely an athlete. He passes the eye test. Give him a contract. Can I have my bonus now?

    PS - this is a tongue in cheek post, obviously, but I still want to know why we need to have this designation when projecting *athletes* -- and by athletes I of course mean teenaged baseball players who are about to become multi-millionaires.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    PPS - I think Dozier was a great pick. I think everybody kind of underrated him because he played at a small college and he was a legit 22 years old in his 2013 season.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I think with younger prospects such as Eloy or Gleyber and even older prospects in their very early 20's it has to do with body structure, things like shoulder set and what their final body composition is going to be when they are 25+, because it can be a drastic change. Weight training and things of that nature can go a long way, but if your genetics say you are a slim shouldered lean 5'10, you may never be able to add the muscle mass without becoming too bulky and lose flexibility necessary be able to project into a bigger arm to, for example, be a starter v. a reliever or stay a SS v. 2B.

    I think the most likely scope of the "eye test" though is a player's field awareness, intensity, and attitude on the field. A quick example just because it's going on right now, which player would you say passes an "eye-test" in the AFL: Almora doing what he always does and playing with the demeanor of a professional as a 19 year old, or Soler being somewhat half hearted?

    I'm sure it's a little different for everyone, because it's ridiculously arbitrary and completely made up. I tend to cringe a bit when I hear it as well. It's an "old-school" concept. I think it is seldom used in actual scouting (hopefully). It does serve some purpose in explaining, not evaluating, some intangibles that aren't quantitative regardless.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I don't know if Soler is half-hearted. I only hear some Cubs fans say that. I've yet to hear that from a genuine scout. So in the comparison between Almora and Soler, in your example, you are talking about work ethic and usage of physical tools along with projectability.

    The thing is, yes, Soler has the more muscular build. But Almora should still pass this so-called eye test, right? He's just got less physical projection, maybe, or probably they've both hit 90-95% of their physical projections and it's just that Soler is bigger and more muscular.

    Clayton Kershaw looks like a stoner hippie compared to Jeff Samardzjia. But given the choice between the two now I'd take Kershaw every time, though, to be honest, I don't know where Kershaw was drafted. Maybe he didn't pass the eye test and if both players were amateurs, and given their tools, and in a comparison of their body types, maybe Samardzjia would be taken higher.

    As I said, I hate that phrase. It's a lazy way to generalize a player.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I like Dozier but I think they could have waited to get him in the 2nd round.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KGallo:

    What if the pick was between Dozier and Hannemann. Who would the Cubs have taken? If they both reach their ceilings, who has a better career?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Oops, I think Hannemann went later than the second round. Who did the Cubs pick in round 2' Zastryzny? So that's not a fair comparison.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KGallo:

    The pick wasn't Dozier, the pick was Manaea. Just a clever way of picking him to retain cap space if he didn't sign.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    They really didn't save any money.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KGallo:

    He signed 900k under slot -- roughly 1/3 off.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think he means with respect to what they eventually gave Manaea.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Roughly 1/2 of the overslot they gave Manaea. Which was 400k over the assigned value for the 8 slot.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I don't understand what you are saying here.

    They signed Dozier for about $940K under slot and they signed Manaea for about 1.9M over slot.

    Dozier signed for $2.2M and the slot value was about $3.14M
    Manaea signed for $3.55M and the slot value was about $1.62M

    So they paid $5.75M for the two players who had slot values totaling $4.78M

    They made the pick because they didn't think Dozier would make it to their second pick. They lucked out when Manaea did. They still paid $1M over, so Kevin is correct when he said they didn't save any money.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Additionally the Royals paid a tax of $130,000 because the Manaea signing put them over the threshold.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    You don't think there needs to be a way to designate a distinction between an athlete that looks like Tony Campana or Juan Pierre and one that looks like Jorge Soler? Just because they are all athletes doesn't mean they all look alike or some aren't better athletes than others. It is a written description of their physical appearance, has nothing to do with their play or whether they should be offered a contract. But if you are a scout and you show up to a ballfield and you see a guy that is 6'4" 225 and every else is 6'0 185, don't you think that guy is going to draw your attention a little? No different then a football player is described as "looking good getting off the bus"

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    I absolutely do think that. So I'd say, he's 6'4" 225, ordinary, solid or muscular build, runs fluidly, etc. I just wouldn't say he passes the eye test because it's too generalized. It is a catch phrase that says nothing and is meaningless.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    I bet Scarlett Johansson looks good getting off the bus but I don't think the Bears would draft her. I wish I was at that bus stop though.

  • fb_avatar

    MLBTR report the D'Backs are interested in Schierholtz.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    Great! Sell high on platoon guy. Package him with Samardzija and we can get a nice haul.

    We could see an outfield mix of Sweeney, Eaton, Lake, Chris Young (buy low) and Bogusevic. Maybe Hart if he moves on, instead of Young - good veteran leadership there.

  • For those at the Season Ticket Holder events this past weekend - settle a mystery (at least to me and some others). You'll recall Theo was talking about how he learned from the Edwin Jackson signing that maybe the team's position was not as far advanced as he thought - and knowing what he knows now he may have been more patient then he was in giving that contract. I've heard lots of different theories on what this meant - usually along one of these two veins:
    1) The team's core was further along and would make greater strides in 2013 then they did and thus needed experienced pitchers for playoff chases starting as early as 2014.

    2) The business side would be further progressed, and that the team would have more money to spend come 2014 because of the stadium renovations and advertising.

    Spiegel and Holmes talked a lot on point 2 yesterday and I wanted to call in to disucss but did not have the time. Theo spent so much time explaining that free agents are not worth it, that there are no 20 something year old free agents out there worth spending on, etc... that to me it would make no sense for him to to turn around and be disappointed there isn't more money to spend?

    Did others attend or hear about his comments and think they were a reference to the delay in the business side and lack of cash? If so - makes me wonder what Theo would be doing with more money this offseason if he had it. He basically said there is no free agents out there (or at least very few) worth spending on regardless of his bank account.

Leave a comment